The new triathlon season kicked off in style at the Peterlee Sprint this Sunday. Over 140 athletes made it to the start line for the 400m pool swim, 20k undulating bike and 5k multi-terrain run. Conditions could not have been any better – the sun was shining and there was little, if no wind. But that could only mean one thing – it was going to be a day of very fast racing and that was what we saw.
This event was also the first race to count in the Grand Prix series so naturally, athletes were eager to get their season off to a good start.
One Life Racing’s Phil Jameson, lead the men out of the pool in an exceptional, 5.06, making his intentions clear from the start. But Ian Staines of NE31 Tri Club followed closely in 5.19 as Tony Dixon of Hartlepool Triathletes rounded out the top three in 5.30.
Despite a strong effort from the early leaders, the lead was set to change on the bike. Ironman, Elliott Gowland of Total Racing Int, has been un-matched so far this season on the bike and he showed no signs of slowing down today. After the swim, he was just under 60s down of the lead. By the end of the bike, he’d turned that deficit in to a two-minute advantage (35.25). It was now Mick Proud (36.31) who followed him in to T2 in second place, with David Barker (36.04 – Tri Northumberland) in third.
On the run, athletes had to tackle a long climb up to the half way mark, so it would be interesting to see how that would affect the race. However, Gowland looked strong and pushed on (21.20). He held on to win in 1.02.44. Despite a late charge from Barker (20.42) he had to settle for silver in 1.03.23. Mick Golightly of Tyne & Wear Fire Service Tri also made a late charge came through for third in 1.03.35. For Gowland, it was two from two as he won at the Stokesley Duathlon just three weeks earlier.
In the women’s race, junior athlete, Kyah Hall of Ryton Tri, pushed out to a commanding lead in the swim in a swift 5.49. She was just over 30s clear of second place which went to team-mate, Diane Chaney in 6.24. Total Racing’s Kerry Gowland followed closely in 6.30.
All was set to change once again on the bike as the Ryton duo of Denise Parkin and Rachel Walmsley (who were close to two min down after the swim) – renowned for their strong biking, came to the head of the race. It was now Parkin (42.01) leading, ahead of team-mate, Walmsley (42.21). Gowland was also biking strongly and held her position in third (44.50).
With only the run remaining, the question was who had the freshest legs, as there was less than 50s separating the first two. And coming across the line first, it was Walmsley (24.40) in 1.14.42. Despite losing time, Parkin held on to second in 1.16.32 as Chaney came back strongly to take third in 1.18.16, making it a 1-2-3 for Ryton Tri. Like Gowland in the men’s race, Walmsley also made it two from two as she won the City of Durham Duathlon the week earlier.
Full results can be seen HERE. Photographs can be seen HERE.
1) Elliott Gowland – Total Racing Int – 1.02.44
2) David Barker – Tri Northumberland – 1.03.23
3) Mick Golightly – Tyne & Wear Fire Tri – 1.03.35
1) Rachel Walmsley – Ryton Tri – 1.14.42
2) Denise Parkin – Ryton Tri – 1.16.32
3) Diane Chaney – Ryton Tri – 1.18.16
Prize Winners (Men):
Junior – Nick Wooley – U/A – 1.19.32
Senior – David Barker – Tri Northumberland – 1.03.23
MV – Elliott Gowland – Total Racing Int – 1.02.44
MSV – David Bell – Tyne Tri – 1.09.06
Vintage – Don Shotton – Tyne Tri – 1.21.37
Prize Winners (Women):
Junior – Kyah Hall – Ryton Tri – 1.27.20
Senior – Sally Poxon – U/A – 1.22.09
FV – Rachel Walmsley – Ryton Tri – 1.14.42